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Nutrition and Grooming Cleaning teeth, clipping nails got you stumped? Should you feed natural or commercial? Here's the place to post your comments and get your answers.

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  #1  
Old 10-27-2004, 09:39 AM
k&s k&s is offline
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Location: Troy, NY, US
Urine crystals: Need food that will lower urine pH

One of my rotties has crystals (sturvites) in his urine. The vet suggests switching to a food that will help acidify the urine (i.e. lower its pH) and thus prevent more crystals (which can develop into bladder stones and/or promote infection).

I currently feed Canidae. Although the vet was not familiar with Canidae, he suggested that some of the 'wholistic' or super-premium foods might promote formation of crystals due to higher magneesium and calcium content and higher protein than some of the others. His recommendation was to switch to versions of Science Diet or Iams or Purina Pro-plan that are designed to lower the pH of the urine.

I would like to avoid feeding any of those brands, and would appreciate any recommendations of better quality kibble that is designed to promote acidification of the urine.
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2004, 09:46 AM
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Post Re: Urine crystals: Need food that will lower urine pH

I would first try to determine what level of PH is good for your dog. Then I would probably start reading dog food labels of the super premium foods. If you cannot find one with a proper reading...then I would probably prepare a home made diet. There is no way I would feed Science Diet or Pro-plan to any of my dogs. Dr. Strombeck(sp?) has a whole book of diet plans for pets that need special diets.
Moondog is our home prepared diet specialist on this forum...she will probably give you more details.

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  #3  
Old 10-27-2004, 08:57 PM
k&s k&s is offline
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Re: Urine crystals: Need food that will lower urine pH

I just spoke with the vet and he clarified that he was not necessarily recommending the special prescription Hills diet at this point, but he was suggesting going to what I would consider a lower-quality food. I expressed some concern because this dog is in remission from lupus, and he is doing so well on the better food. Turns out that the alkaline urine that promotes struvite crystals could actually be due to a urinary infection, so we are going to do a urine culture (obtained via catheter) next week and see if that is the problem. It might not acctually be necessary to switch his food.

Funny, I did a search on this subject here and found a thread that I had started several years ago on pretty much the same subject. I had forgotten that this particular dog had been through this same thing a while back..
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  #4  
Old 10-28-2004, 08:12 PM
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Re: Urine crystals: Need food that will lower urine pH

I'm sure moondog will speak up, but she recommended "Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Diets, The Healthy Alternative" by Donald Strombeck, DVM, PhD for preparing your own food to control such problems.
I'm going through this problem right now with my cat, and it's been determined he does not have any infection and my vet specifically reccommended Science Diet Light over even the premium food I had for him once he finishes the prescription low pH food. It's what she feeds her own cat. But I'm dealing with a cat, not a dog.
Good luck.
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  #5  
Old 10-28-2004, 08:17 PM
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Re: Urine crystals: Need food that will lower urine pH

If necessary, the perscription formulated diets designed for certain diseases can be quite excellent. Do not dismiss them out of hand because of what you might think of their on-the-shelf products.
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  #6  
Old 10-28-2004, 09:37 PM
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Re: Urine crystals: Need food that will lower urine pH

Quote:
Originally Posted by k&s
I just spoke with the vet and he clarified that he was not necessarily recommending the special prescription Hills diet at this point, but he was suggesting going to what I would consider a lower-quality food. I expressed some concern because this dog is in remission from lupus, and he is doing so well on the better food. Turns out that the alkaline urine that promotes struvite crystals could actually be due to a urinary infection, so we are going to do a urine culture (obtained via catheter) next week and see if that is the problem. It might not acctually be necessary to switch his food.
I just read Strombeck's section on struvite calculi and what your vet is saying corresponds with it precisely.

Quote from: Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets, pg 288, "Dietary Management of Struvite Calculi in Dogs:

Diets containing reduced amounts of high-quality proteins, phosphorus, and magnesium reduce urea, phosphate, and magnesium in urine. Studies show these diets promote struvite stones' dissolution in dogs. All dog in these studies also received antibiotics for urinary tract infection, however. Pet food manufacturers producing diets with low protein, magnesium, and phosphorus claim the diets are responsible for calcui dissolution. However, antibiotic treatment is far more responsible. If antibiotics are not given, calculi remain. If a dog with calculi receives antibiotics and no special diet, the calculi dissolve and disappear. Thus, diet is not critical for managing struvite calculi in dogs.

He also says that if magnesium is reduced too much, it increases the risk of calcium oxalate stones developing. His diets for dogs with urinary tract stone disease have near normal levels of nutrients. He also says sodium chloride can be increased to promote a greater intake of water.

And note to Tank's Grandma: It is not the same for cats! quote: "Feline urologic syndrome is very uncommon in cats fed as carnivores."
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  #7  
Old 11-03-2004, 04:21 PM
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Re: Urine crystals: Need food that will lower urine pH

Our pup had problems with crystals and urinary tract infections, too. I continued to feed her Wellness (the chicken one) and gave her cranberry supplements (broken up in her food) and cottage cheese, both of which are recommended to help acidify urine. I also made her some ice cubes mixing meat baby food with water to help increase her water consumption and give her a fun summertime treat. It's been about 4 months and she's been infection free.

I hope your pup is feeling better soon!
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  #8  
Old 11-10-2004, 05:08 PM
k&s k&s is offline
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Re: Urine crystals: Need food that will lower urine pH

I just heard from vet that the urine culture (done by obtaining sample with cathether) came out negative, so the struvite crystals are not likely the result of alkaline environment caused by bacteria.

Vet thinks it might be worth trying a diet switch to a lesser-quality food, but he admits he has only anecdotal evidence that this might help. From what I have read, it seems that a switch in diet, unless to one of these prescription diets, is not likely to cause acidificaiton of the urine. THe vet is not suggesting the prescription diet route because these are only crystals and not stones, and the prescription diet is a rather drastic change (high fat, very low protein).

I am not sure what to do at this point. Am tempted to just leave diet as is and recheck urine pH in a month or so and see if it was just a temporary incident. I really don't want to feed junk food, and from what I have read, cranberries, vitamin C, etc. are not likely to affect urine pH. In other words, there is no scientific evidence that acidic food causes acidic urine, even though that connection is often made.
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  #9  
Old 11-10-2004, 05:23 PM
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Re: Urine crystals: Need food that will lower urine pH

Although most people here prefer the super premium foods, we do have members who use the store brand foods you mentioned and their dogs are doing quite well. If it may help your dog, I wouldn't dismiss it outright - I think it would be worth a try.
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  #10  
Old 11-15-2004, 10:33 PM
k&s k&s is offline
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Re: Urine crystals: Need food that will lower urine pH

Am still thinking about switching foods, but really hesitate because of the lupus. The gist of what I am reading is that urine crystals are not entirely abnormal and don't necessarily turn into stones. Am leaning toward waiting a bit more and then rechecking. Perhaps it is just a passing thing.
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  #11  
Old 11-15-2004, 10:45 PM
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Re: Urine crystals: Need food that will lower urine pH

Have you thought of Benefil (SP) dog food. It has a lot of protein but i think it is better then like Iams. jordan wont eat IAMS. He doesn't like the taste but he loves the benefil along with his steak. :)
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  #12  
Old 11-26-2004, 01:09 AM
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Re: Urine crystals: Need food that will lower urine pH

I had a sheltie that came up with the crystals. She was on Innova, and I got ahold of the dogfood company, because the vet wanted her on the prescription food, and I hated the ingredients in it. So she emailed me and told me to get this book from a vet who talked about vitamins, etc. He said to put her on vit. C. So it happened that we got a new vet and I told her what I was doing. She came unglued and said that I need to put her on the prescription food, and vit, C would not help. She went off on me the first day she started. Well, you know I didn't use her anymore as my dog's vet. I took her out, got an urine sample and had them test it, and it was CLEAR, and never had a problem since. I will have to find the book and post it later.
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2004, 05:21 PM
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Re: Urine crystals: Need food that will lower urine pH

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordansmom
Have you thought of Benefil (SP) dog food. It has a lot of protein but i think it is better then like Iams. jordan wont eat IAMS. He doesn't like the taste but he loves the benefil along with his steak. :)
Beneful is made by Purina.

Beneful Original's list of ingredient (http://www.beneful.com/products/original_nutrition.aspx)

Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), rice flour, beef, soy flour, sugar, sorbitol, tricalcium phosphate, water, animal digest, salt, phosphoric acid, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, sorbic acid (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, dried peas, dried carrots, calcium carbonate, calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, vitamin supplements (E, A, B-12, D-3), added color (Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 2), DL-Methionine, zinc sulfate, glyceryl monostearate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, manganese sulfate, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, sodium selenite.

Crude Protein (Min) 25.0%

Might be all that sugar in his food that Jordan likes
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